Out and about in the Hoge Kempen National Park
Hoge Kempen is the only national park in Belgium and is located in the province of Limburg. With over 5700 hectares of forest and heath, the park covers the municipalities of Dilsen-Stokkem, Maasmechelen, Zutendaal, Lanaken, Genk and As. Nature lovers will find a great variety of nature in the park: extensive pine forests, purple heath, large water areas as well as high peaks and many animals make the park a real experience. The national park offers a lot to hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers as well as to riders.
Activities in the National Park
The extensive national park is particularly suitable for sporting activities. Via the five access gates, visitors find their way into the park and discover the breath-taking nature of Belgium.
The national park offers hikers 200 kilometres of hiking fun. Each access gate is the starting point for great routes through the park. Visitors to the park will find hiking trails for all levels of difficulty and routes between 3 and 16 kilometres. These circular trails can be combined at will and depending on the endurance. The trails are well signposted on information boards and marker posts. The Hoge Kempen National Park is also suitable for hiking tours lasting several days. In two, three or four days, hikers can discover the park on the 72-kilometre long-distance hiking trail. Real adventurers can also camp on marked campsites. There is also a 2-kilometre barefoot trail among the hiking trails. Stations with wood, stones and clay provide variety. Moreover an observation tower, a labyrinth and a suspension bridge are waiting to be discovered.
Tip: Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month a local ranger expects visitors at one of the access gates. They show visitors in small wanderings the most beautiful places of the park and informs about the characteristics of the region. A reservation is not necessary, and visitors can participate spontaneously for a small participation fee.
Also, for cyclists the national park is a beautiful excursion place thanks to the varied surroundings. The network of cycle paths and junctions connects the paths so that visitors can create their own route. Every access gate also serves as a starting point and bicycles can be hired for spontaneous tours. Many of the routes are car-free and pleasant to drive on. Even if the routes include some climbs, cyclists are rewarded with a unique view at the end. The blue signs mark the paths and lead through the park. E-bikers will also find numerous charging stations in the park.
The new mountain bike network in the park is ideal for action fans. Mountain bikers can experience the National Park on 160 kilometres of mountain bike trails spread over 6 loops. For particularly sporty visitors, the bike marathon is recommended: a demanding 80-kilometre route marked with black arrows.
The Hoge Kempen National Park also has riders a lot to offer. They will find their excursion destination on over 140 kilometres of riding and carriage paths. Over 85% of the trails are unpaved and offer riders a natural experience. This network is also a hub system, which is why tours can be arranged individually. The riding trails rarely cross cycle paths or hiking trails and lead idyllically through the park.
Hotel tips in the region
The Romantik Hotel Hostellerie La Feuille d'Or is located in the immediate vicinity of the National Park and invites guests to a relaxing stay after an eventful day in the National Park. The hotel's own gourmet restaurant welcomes guests with light French cuisine prepared from local produce.